Existing theories of the rentier state are essentially static, but rentier states are not monolithic and unchanging; most have economies built on the extraction of non-renewable resources, and at some point those resources will be exhausted. What happens then? In this paper, I argue that the case of Nauru may provide some guideposts. The existing concept of the rentier state is actually one component of a larger temporal typology. Rentier states can, and most will, eventually become post-rentier states. Post-rentier states have exhausted the resource wealth that formerly financed the state, and because of the perverse incentives of rentierism are ill equipped to function in the modern world economy. The paper concludes by outlining a dynamic theory of the rentier state.

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